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She invited him to visit with his daughter and become a bigger part of her life.
"It wasn't the life change I was planning, but it's been unbelievable, and it's really given me a fresh purpose," says Hunt. "Now I have this tiny audience of a child that I want to do something that makes her proud. I don't want to be the guy I was turning into in my late 30s, with my thumb stuck up my ass, just complaining about shit.
"So I got my life changed and I got out of London, and after I got out I felt a little guilty that I had written this album, with a load of lyrics slagging off the whole of the country," Hunt continues. "I got on the train -- we were going up to Cambridge, it's only about an hour's ride from London by train -- and the train is rolling through this beautiful countryside. That's when it struck me: I don't hate England at all, I just hate the government we've got and London itself."
As for the transition from the top of the pops to a musical elder statesman, with the requisite drop in media interest, Hunt has come to an acceptance.
"We did go away from the business for 11 years, and they just don't write about us, but that's because there aren't any of those writers from the old days -- they've moved on. It'd be like asking me about Pink Floyd when I was 14. 'Aren't they old guys?' I totally understand," Hunt says.
But Hunt suggests that oftentimes, music requires an effort from the listener as well as the artist. He recalls the days of his youth when he would buy the new Echo & the Bunnymen or Joy Division, and -- because you couldn't afford to buy an album you didn't love -- he'd thrust himself into the album until he loved it.
"I would wonder, 'Am I this horrible musical snob and I am just trying to be contrary because I don't want to be the kid in school who doesn't like Genesis?' It used to worry me at one time," Hunt says. "But to appreciate good music, you have to work at it. Nobody walks in to hear a piece of Stravinsky and gets it. You have to work with the artist, and when you do, the payoff is beautiful because that record will stay with you the rest of your life."
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